Sidley’s ongoing work on behalf of our client Wanxiang—earned through strong collaboration and a record of results over the years—has led to a recent high-profile transaction in March 2014.
On March 24, A123 Systems LLC (a subsidiary of Wanxiang Group Corporation, which is China’s largest auto parts company and one of the country’s largest non-state-owned enterprises), signed an agreement to sell its electric grid storage business to NEC Corporation of Japan for approximately $100 million. The transaction includes a joint venture between Shanghai Puxing Energy Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China Wanxiang Holding Co., Ltd., to address the growing market for electric grid storage products in China. The terms of the transaction were negotiated over a series of calls and meetings in Tokyo, the United States and China involving multiple lawyers from Sidley’s offices in the U.S. and Asia.
John Box, a member of the firm’s Corporate Group, led the transaction for Sidley, along with counsel Dirk Andringa and associate Anna Remis of the Chicago office. Other Sidley lawyers on the transaction included partners Glenn Nash in Palo Alto, Zhengyu Tang in Shanghai, and Ayaz Shaikh in Washington, D.C.
Talent and teamwork
Box said the transaction was successful in part due to strong teamwork with our longtime client. “Our close relationship with Wanxiang greatly facilitated communications and allowed us to deploy teams of Sidley lawyers that worked around the globe to get the results that Wanxiang wanted,” he said.
A record of results
These transactions follow a number of other deals for Wanxiang, including Wanxiang America’s $256.6 million purchase of the majority of the assets of lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems, Inc in 2013. The Wanxiang/A123 team was led by Box, Bojan Guzina, Asi Kirmayer and Andy O’Neill and also included Anna Remis; and partner Howard Stanislawski in Washington, D.C.; Glenn Nash, partners T.J. Gordon and Marc Raven in Chicago. Sidley provided counsel to Wanxiang in several key areas, including the furnishing of post-petition (DIP) financing to A123, and navigation and coordination of the bankruptcy sale and CFIUS approval processes.
That sophisticated transaction was named Deal of the Year 2013 by Asian-MENA Counsel, M&A Deal of the Year – Inbound & Domestic 2013 – by China Business Law Journal and Cross-Border Turnaround of the Year for Middle Markets 2013 in the Turnaround Atlas Awards.